Early Sunday Morning some reports came out that there could be something wrong with Eric Gordon's knee and his injury is worse than originally anticipated. The Hornets are going to run some tests on him on Monday or Tuesday, per Monty Williams. Here's the full quote:
"I know some things. I’d love to tell you guys as much as I do know but I’ve got to hold onto it for another day or two and get some more information from the doctors. They’re still running tests on him but we’ll know more Monday or Tuesday for sure."
We should know more by then. Also make sure you check out At The Hive for coverage. They're going to try and uncover some footage on where he could have possibly aggravated his knee. They're also a great follow on Twitter.
This has been a complete mess. In case you forgot how this went down, let's recap the timeline:
December 26th: The Indiana product started the season quite well with a 20-point, 39-minute outing in his NO debut against Phoenix in a win. Great start!
December 28th: Eric Gordon dealt with knee swelling. Physiologically speaking, when a player has swelling around his joint that means the blood vessels are dilated for more blood to get to the injury (more on this later). The Hornets did an MRI and it was negative.
EJ then sat out from December 28th until January 4th for the swelling to go down.
January 4th: Gordon returned to the lineup to the tune of 22 points on 8-of-22 shooting, six boards and three steals in 39 minutes. Nice.
January 6th: The Hornets announced that Gordon will miss two weeks to rest the same knee. There was no MRI on Gordon (at least none were reported).
January 16th: The Hornets said they hope to have Eric Gordon back in about a week.
January 20th: The Hornets announced that there was still no timetable for Gordon to return from his knee injury. Oddly enough, Gordon expressed his interest on a long-term deal.
Fantasy analysis and some of my opinions after the jump:
Personally, I find this most recent development with Gordon extremely disturbing. It doesn't take an MD to know that when a joint is inflamed, there is something wrong with it. The knee is the most complicated joint in the body and you'd think that any sign of trouble would have the medical team set up an MRI for Gordon ASAP. Health insurance not good, or what?
The weird part about Gordon is that he doesn't really have a notable injury on his knee prior to this occurrence. Most players that have recurring knee injuries experience some sort of swelling periodically just because the joint isn't as strong as it usually. Although, recent ACL reconstructive surgeries have suggested that the repaired ACL is 1.5 times stronger than a normal ACL. But I digress.
This isn't the first shady knee injury so far this year. The Memphis Grizzlies downplayed the Zach Randolph injury, then an MRI revealed he had a partially torn MCL and would miss up to eight weeks. Gordon's might have a similar timetable and the timing couldn't be worse. The NBA CBA has a deadline for teams and players to agree to extensions by January 25th. Gordon will become a restricted free agent next year without a deal, so it's going to be awfully tough for the Hornets to feel comfortable to offer up a deal with such a murky future on the most important joint in an NBA body. All I can say is that this probably would not have happened in the NFL. MLB? Maybe.
Another interesting angle is the way that the NBA vetoed the HOU-LAL-NO deal. The Hornets would have received Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic, Lamar Odom and a pick. That deal looks, for the moment, to be better than the deal built around Chris Kaman (who played nine minutes on Saturday), Al-Farouq Aminu (played in 10.7 MPG in last three), an unprotected pick (which doesn't mean too much since the Clippers are likely going to make the playoffs for a while) and Gordon.
Alright so what does this mean for fantasy? Before we do break it down, just remember that there is nothing concrete with this story and the MRI on Monday or Tuesday could be negative (which I kind of doubt).
Eric Gordon might be out for a while. I'd be totally speculating on the injury, but a meniscus tear or an injury to his MCL seem like the most likely injuries (if it exists). I doubt his ACL is partially torn since that rarely happens. It's usually all or nothing (for what it's worth, a partial ACL tear requires around a three-month rehab). Gordon owners in shallower leagues really should wait until the MRI before making a somewhat hasty cut. As for owners in deeper leagues, I wouldn't mind trying to unload Gordon at a severe discount at this point (assuming you don't have an IR spot in your league). MarShon Brooks, Gerald Henderson and Wesley Matthews seem like pretty fair deals for a SG to me. Although, under most scenarios I would wait for the MRI since I don't think the results will cause him to miss the season. Again, I'm speculating.
As for the fantasy winners of the potential Gordon injury, look no further that Trevor Ariza and Jarrett Jack. Jack is currently ranked as the sixth-best eight-cat SG (15th for PG). Ariza has been very good in his return from the groin injury with averages of 41 minutes, 13.3 points, 5.7 boards, 2.3 steals and 0.7 3PM in his three games. Those are huge numbers right there, folks. He probably won't sustain that pace, but he is absolutely must-own material right now (44 percent owned in ESPN!!!!). Marco Belinelli is more of just a guy that deep leagues could use as a plug-n-play guy and is fair too inconsistent to keep on your roster.
Again, I must remind you that there is nothing concrete on the injury and Gordon could be fine. Stay tuned.
Thanks for reading! Post your comments, concerns below or send them to me on Twitter.